Leverage Season Five Debuts Tonight
· Timothy Hutton
· Aldis Hodge
· Christian Kane
· Beth Riesgraf
· Gina Bellman
Television Review: Leverage, "The (Very) Big Bird Job"
by R.J. Carter
Published: July 15, 2012
"You will never see 'The Date Job'," Leverage co-creator John Rogers told The-Trades back in August. "Because we were very, very careful because these shows, as you go past third season, all of these shows tend to spiral into soap opera. And the rule we made was, you only do a little bit of focus on the relationship if it makes some part of the plot advance."
As the creative con show kicks off its newest season, guess what. Hardison (Aldis Hodge) reveals that he and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) have begun dating. This, close on the heels of a very tender embrace between Sophie (Gina Bellman) and Nate (Timothy Hutton), after Nate has docked his boat.
So just where are our intrepid thieves calling home now? Look out, fat cats of Portland! Leverage, Incorporated has just set up shop in your back yard, and they're wasting no time in looking for their first mark.
The mark, in this instance, comes in the form of an airline CEO who has knowingly cut corners in the safety department, resulting in the wrongful death of a husband and father. The widow has filed suit, but the courts ruled in favor of the company. That's just the kind of situation that calls for a little Leverage. Unfortunately for our team, they're starting from scratch. All their identities have been burned, and Hardison has nothing set up to work with other than the base itself. Worse for Hardison, Nate forges ahead with the con, setting the CEO up to buy Portland's own vision of the Brooklyn Bridge: the Spruce Goose, the legendary wooden airplane built by Howard Hughes (aka "the Tony Stark of the 40s," per Hardison).
As episodes in the series go, this reviewer has seen better. The banter itself is all there, with Hardison and Parker setting up the new base (as a surprise) in a microbrewery they bought, and Elliot (Christian Kane) objecting mostly to the complications of setting up a brew pub menu. Elliot and Sophie both get meaty roles in the con, but overall there just didn't seem to be the sense of danger that makes for the best stories. Counterbalancing that, however, is the larger setup for the season which we see in the last 30 seconds of the episode. You're not going to want to miss that, as it promises to be positively incendiary to the team itself if it all goes wrong.
Leverage, "The (Very) Big Bird Job" debuts tonight, 8PM ET, on TNT.